Where do I begin. I guess let’s I start with, it wasn’t what I expected. Nothing about my twin pregnancy or the first year was what I thought it would be like.
As moms we have this picture of beauty and perfection, but it was far from that. I quickly learned that this year was going to be so much different than with our singletons (a term I only learned after becoming pregnant with twins). I learned that I needed to let go of all my expectations. Twins throw a curve ball in every situation our life as we know changed forever.
Our Twin Pregnancy
Mono/di (one placenta, two sacs) twins are high risk and our girls were also diagnosed with TTTS, which put our twin pregnancy at an even higher risk. Throughout the 34 weeks we were constantly worried and stressed about what might happen to our girls. Throughout the pregnancy I was unable to workout or even pick up my older girls, this was hard on me.
The last few weeks I was put on strict bed rest. The most difficult part about these 9 months was not being able to do everything I used to with Sophia and Isabella.
The labor and delivery was my easiest one, yes I know sounds crazy, but it was amazing. It may have had something to do with this being my third time, but anyway it was a wonderful experience. I had to deliver in the OR which was something completely new to us and within five minutes of meeting our girls they were taken to the NICU, that was awful. I can’t even describe what that felt like, but it was the worst feeling in the world. I just wanted to be with my girls.
Our first year with twins began with our girls in the NICU, being taken care of by someone other then me (that part killed me). I hated not being with them day in and day out. I wanted to be the one to take care of them when they cried, wanted to eat, wanted to snuggle, etc. I wanted to be everything they needed. But, I knew they needed to be in the NICU to be taken care of by the nurses until they were ready to come home. Leaving the hospital without them was an experience I don’t wish upon anyone. Driving home without our little babies was heartbreaking. So, our first year was definitely not starting off how I had wished and hope. I knew being born early they would need the NICU, but deep down I wished they would be surprise us all and just come home with us. Don’t we all pray for the best?
McKenzie came home after 12 days in the NICU; which doesn’t sound like much, but boy did those 12 days seem to take forever. I hated leaving her day in and day out. But, it certainly became much more difficult with one baby home and one baby still in the hospital. McKayla came home after 19 days in the NICU. They came home exactly 1 week apart.
Getting McKayla home was not an easy task. We were told on Sunday that she could come home the next day, but then we got a call Monday morning telling us she didn’t pass her car seat test; my heart broke into a million pieces. As I write this I am crying, all I wanted to do was to bring her home. I can’t even begin to describe how difficult that was for me. But, Steve and I knew we wanted her home and would do anything to have that happen. So, I researched and researched and found a car seat that seemed to work better for tiny babies (at this time McKayla was hovering just under 4 lbs.). Steve left work bought the car seat, brought it to the hospital and she passed!!
Our family was able to be all together on Monday July 22nd. It was a day I will never forget.
Emotionally, these first few weeks were rough on me. “Who am I kidding this entire year has been rough.” During our NICU time, I hated not being able to be with Sophia and Isabella all the time and I hated not being with McKenzie and McKayla every minute of every day. While my babies were in the NICU I was in a very sad and dark place and not to mention throughout these few weeks I had just delivered two babies.
One thing I learned is that NICU moms have no time to recover, no time to take it easy. You simply have to pull it together and go. There are no days spent in your jammies cuddling your new bundle(s) of joy, there are no days taking naps and resting until you are completely healed. There are no days where you simply hold them nursing all day long (I got to hold a pump, lovely). No, you get up and get dressed every day to go see your little baby(ies). I am not going to lie it’s hard, it SUCKS, but that’s what we do, we do whatever it takes for our children, for our family.
Once, we had all our girls home and together life seemed to go much smoother, still difficult, but a little easier. McKenzie and McKayla were still in the sleepy newborn stage so our older girls were able to adjust slowly and so were we. But, that didn’t last long.
McKenzie and McKayla were about one month old when colic struck. Oh boy these next few months were miserable. They would both scream from about 6-9pm every night until they were 4 months old. Yes, both babies had colic and absolutely nothing worked. Until one glorious day it just stopped. These few months were difficult, very difficult. It was hard on the entire family. The crying really starts to take a toll on you and it is not easy to go day in and day out not being able to do anything about it.
We had a few months of calm before our next storm hit us, ear infections and teething. Yes, McKenzie and McKayla had ear infection after ear infection. Seriously, when we would finally get one better the other one would get an infection and so forth. This went on for six months until tubes were put into their ears just after their 1st birthday; meaning we were not sleeping this entire year. Yes, we have been living our lives in a complete fog.
Exhaustion doesn’t even describe how I have felt each and every day.
Finally, after their surgery sleep has started to come back into our lives and I feel like a new women. You can really do anything with just a little sleep (4 hours is all I need).
This year has been hard, really hard…
One of the worst parts for me was the fact that I was not loving being a mom at those tough moments. In all honesty, I truly love being a mom and I know this is what God put me here to do, being a mom is my purpose. But, this past year made me question it time and time again. This year has really tested me and some days I think I may have failed (big time). In the end, I would always pick myself back up and try again the next day. This year was tough; lack of sleep, colicky babies, ear infection after ear infection. This year has been emotionally draining. Motherhood has always come easy to me, but not with twins. This has definitely been a new challenge.
The biggest thing I regret about this past year is not cherishing this year as much as I should have. I regret getting frustrated and feeling sad. I regret not always being the best mom to my girls. I regret feeling tired and hopeless. I regret feeling defeated, pretty much all the time. Please remember if you are a mom and you are feeling tired and alone try to remember this too shall pass. These days go by way too quickly and I am so sad to see my little babies growing up. As difficult as this year has been I am going to miss it. I am going to miss these days.
I will say most days I can’t even believe we survived this first year, but we did. It may not have been pretty, it may not have always been rainbows and sunshine, but we have all made it through and we are stronger for it. Through all the tears there has been lots of smiles too. There are still days where all I can do is cry with them. Being a mom to twins puts an emotional strain on you like nothing else. You are pulled in so many directions and it is beyond difficult to always be on top of your game, especially when you are lacking in sleep.
Even though this year has been a difficult one I would do it all over again. Having my sweet girls in my life is a blessing. No matter what happens I would do anything for my girls. There is always light at the end of the tunnel. Remember that you are stronger than you think and God gave you this life because he knew you could handle it. Never forget you are AMAZING!!